A few weeks ago I came across the portrait of Heath Ledger by his friend Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo. The painting was completed only weeks before Heath's death. It is a technical masterpiece, yet the greatest works of art always move the viewer past technique and into meaning.
Being an actor is in many ways about becoming someone you are not. It is a life of pretending, not only in one's work, but for celebrity status actors, often also in daily life. The appearance of perfection and a charmed life are required at all times and in all places.
I was so winded by the beautiful honesty of the work and Heath's willingness to display that transparency to the world. For a person as famous as him this sort of thing can be dangerous and ever misconstrued, even used as a weapon.
The overwhelming response to the work goes beyond mourning over the seeming untimely death of a tremendously gifted man. People see themselves in the painting. I know I do, as well.